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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    It seems more and more we complain about merchants and networks. While it's important to alert other affiliates about "bad" things, what about praise for good merchants and networks?

    Currently, I only work with a few networks, LinkShare, ShareASale and Kowabunga. I like the reporting with LinkShare (I haven't been experiencing the issues some others have) and I like the no parasite stance of ShareASale.

    As for merchants, my best converting merchant is Sierra Trading Post. Each month keeps getting better and their conversion rate for me is 4.11% this year and 7.30% so far this month. If all my merchants converted this well, my income would more than quadruple.

    Let's hear some good comments. WTG Sierra Trading Post
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  2. #2
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    I love SAS for being parasite-free. For twice as many clicks on a couple of CJ merchants for the same types of products, sales are non-existent in CJ. Zero, zilch, nada, absolutely nothing, not a dime. Is that a clue?? I wish SAS had more merchants! I have a few converting merchants in other networks and a couple of independent ones as well that I really like.

    But I'm not about to tell the whole world who they are! Why would anyone want to advertise their best merchant(s) on a public discussion board?

    Catwoman

  3. #3
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    Alibris (at Linkshare), A&E (at CJ), and Amazon are my top three.

  4. #4
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    Xandman,

    You are correct. We need more positive spin here once in a while.

    I supect however the reason not everyone puts their positive results from merchants and networks is because of competition, which I understand of course.

    But, because of some of the many positives I have read about SAS we just recently joined them as a merchant and hope to be on the positive side too.

    So keep the praises coming.

    Jorge

  5. #5
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    The "competition factor" can be appreciated, however, it is in our own best interest to ONLY promote parasite-free merchants. Cut off the food supply and the monster dies! If a merchant only has the parasites left along with a few small-time affiliates, their affiliate program withers on the vine. The merchants that have learned that are promoting on this site, parasite-free as "Trusted Merchants".
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  6. #6
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    I will add mine as I am not scared of competion it will actually force me to make better websites. I find myself joining more sharasale merchants everyday just because of the parasite free stance.
    I can tell you my stats are double on sharasale then they are on other networks with the exception being sportsfanfare/frangrancewholesale/essential apparel/evitamins with cj
    my sports site is doing well with tennishut on sharasale
    now that i mention it I think I will add some more sharasale merchants to my sports site
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Good point CheeseHead.

    I don't think anyone's giving out trade secrets here but this is a community of affiliates and merchants. It seems every day there's another post complaining about a network or merchant, which is ok if the situation warrants. But, if all we do is complain and attack merchants and networks where is the benefit for anyone?

    As for divulging your best merchant, why is it ok to tell someone how to get better SE rank, how to market or how to work with datafeeds and not ok to give credit to a good merchant? Do you think the more top affiliates a merchant has just MAY improve the experience of all affiliates?

    I see affiliates here every day selflessly helping other affiliates (their competitors). Catwoman, you asked "Why would anyone want to advertise their best merchant(s) on a public discussion board?". To answer your question, you only need to check a couple topics here at ABW. This kind of help goes on here every day. Other affiliates (my competitors) have helped me and I helped other affiliates. If you're not comfortable with this, that's fine. I thank you for sharing what you did.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

    Join us! - MiNeeds.com | DiscountCandleShop/CheeseSupply | Feng Shui Plaza

  8. #8
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    Xandman, I entirely agree with you that this board is great to get GENERAL tips and advice.

    BUT there's a world of difference between helping another affiliate and divulging all your trade secrets, including your best performing merchants. It's one thing to tell someone where to go to find info, or how to get better at SEO, or how to work with datafeeds, or how to use ppc, but it's a completely different ball game to give all the best keywords associated with it. You can give some examples, even a few keywords and ideas on how to get them, but you keep your best performing search phrases to yourself.

    Nothing wrong with discussions about merchants and saying good things about them. I'm all for that. I don't think I've ever posted anything negative about any network or merchant. But to go all out and tell everyone which ones are the best? Nope.

    There is enough competition already in affiliate marketing with all other related problems (tracking, parasites, etc.) without creating MORE competition for yourself all by your own fault.

    It's one thing helping someone else, it's another doing all the work for them and handing them everything on a silver platter. I already work hard for what I get, I won't make it more difficult on myself by my own fault. Competition will grow for my best merchants no doubt about it, but it won't be because of me. I'm not THAT hard on myself.

    Sorry if we don't agree, that's just my opinion on this subject. Doesn't make it right or wrong, it's a personal choice.

    Catwoman

  9. #9
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    I think it might be easier to ask about the process for finding a good merchant, rather than simply asking to post the ones we make our living off of.

    Although, I have said time and time again here that JCWhitney kicks hiney. They took a stance right from the get go about parasites, they have some great creatives, and their AM hangs out here and is accountable - even when the program is going through a rough patch.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
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    ".... Cut off the food supply and the monster dies!...... "

    That's just not true. Just some of the misinforation that gets reposted over and over again.

    Parasite free merchants can be the food supply for parasite infested merchants. That's who they pop their advertising off of.

    I see it as 2 types of situations.

    One are situations like Gator, WhenU, 180 that a merchant can utilize to pop their advertising over anything, other merchant sites, SE results, our sites etc.

    The other are shopping application affiliates. If you work with a merchant that has this type of affiliate in their program they're basically a 1 day cookie merchant if your site visitor has this software on their machine and doesn't buy in the initial visit to the merchant. Of course if they "glitch" they're just as bad as the Gators and WhenU.

    Probably going off topic but this is also some more information that gets reposted over and over again. That if the networks kick out all the "parasites" the problem will be gone. It won't. Parasites don't need networks to work with merchants, they can work with them directly.

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